Berkeley, CA, May 11, 2009-(Download a PDF version of this press release.) The University of California, Berkeley Art Museum and Pacific Film Archive (BAM/PFA) presents What We Can Live With: The 39th Annual University of California, Berkeley Master of Fine Arts Graduate Exhibition, on view from May 15 through June 21, 2009. This exhibition is part of a tradition that has continued for nearly forty years, in which M.F.A. graduates in art practice have the opportunity to present their work in the museum galleries and, in the process, gain valuable experience working in a professional museum setting.
This year, six graduating artists have created works that challenge our desire to identify with predetermined visual models. The featured artists in this exhibition are Sara Bright, Lydia Greer, Laura Britt Greig, Farley Gwazda, Aaron Maietta, and Ginger Wolfe-Suárez.
“The MFA graduates at UC Berkeley have access to leading thought in rhetoric, film studies, science, and literature,” says Dena Beard, MATRIX Curatorial Assistant. “The influence of this campus-wide discourse is evidenced in the quality of the 2009 MFA exhibition. A program of this size and rigor necessarily produces critically engaging work-that alone speaks volumes about their artistic potential.”
Sara Bright's paintings convey the Kafkaesque confusion of a waking dream, while Lydia Greer's spare retellings of her family stories belie their own complexity, employing video footage and simple objects to enact narratives about consumption, youth, and political upheaval. Laura Britt Greig's robots often exhibit surprising behavior while performing routine tasks and Farley Gwazda's graphic strategies distill visual data down to reveal a primary signifying impulse: personal choice. Investigating the interstices between natural and artificial organization, Aaron Maietta documents elusive tensions within overlooked landscapes; critical to his projects are works in absentia. Ginger Wolfe-Suárez mines records of nonviolent activism to create objects that help trigger historical memory.
Sunday, May 17, 3 p.m.
Each of the artists featured in What We Can Live With will speak informally about their work and answer questions from museum visitors.
The annual MFA exhibition at BAM/PFA is made possible by the Barbara Berelson Wiltsek Endowment.
The UC Berkeley Art Museum and Pacific Film Archive (BAM/PFA) aims to inspire the imagination and ignite critical dialogue through contemporary and historical art and film, engaging audiences from the campus, Bay Area community, and beyond. BAM/PFA is one of the largest university art museums in the United States in both size and attendance, presenting fifteen art exhibitions and five hundred film programs each year. The museum's collection of more than 15,000 works includes exceptional examples of mid-twentieth-century painting, including important works by Hans Hofmann, Jackson Pollock, Eva Hesse, and Mark Rothko, as well as historical and contemporary Asian art, early American painting, Conceptual and contemporary international art, and California and Bay Area art. The PFA film and video collection now includes the largest group of Japanese films outside of Japan, as well as impressive holdings of Soviet silents, West Coast avant-garde cinema, seminal video art, rare animation, Central Asian productions, Eastern European cinema, and international classics.
Berkeley Art Museum Galleries and Museum Theater
2626 Bancroft Way, just below College Avenue near the UC Berkeley campus.
Gallery and Museum Store Hours: Wednesday to Sunday, 11–5. Closed Monday and Tuesday.
Admission: General admission is $8; admission for seniors, disabled persons, non–UC Berkeley students, and young adults (13–17) is $5; admission for BAM/PFA members, UC Berkeley students, staff and faculty, and children under 12 is free; admission for group tours is $3 per person. To arrange a group tour, call (510) 642-5188. Admission is free on the first Thursday of each month!
Information: 24-hour recorded message (510) 642-0808; fax (510) 642-4889;
TDD (510) 642-8734.